Original U.S. Springfield Model 1835 Flintlock Musket by Harpers Ferry Arsenal - dated 1836
Original item: One Only. The U.S. Model 1835 Musket was a .69 caliber smoothbore flintlock, with a 42-inch barrel and an overall length of 58 inches. It replaced the previous model 1822 musket, and often is viewed as a further development of that design. It was really only an incremental change, and many differences involved how the musket was produced, rather than the actual design. The emphasis was on making some interchangeable parts, and to use more accurate manufacturing methods. This paved the way for the later model of 1842, the first U.S. musket to have fully interchangeable parts.
The Model 1835 was produced by the Springfield Armory, Harpers Ferry Armory, and numerous other contractors. It was eventually superseded by the model 1840 and 1842 muskets, the former of which was originally made in Flintlock, but most were converted to percussion before they made it to the field. The 1842 was only made in percussion.
In the 1850s, many of the Flintlock Muskets in Arsenal were converted to Percussion, which was a much more reliable and water-resistant ignition system. This involved all variants of the Model of the 1816. This helped to standardize the types of ammunition carried by the soldiers in the field. Later, the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States created a large need for percussion muskets, as the number of modern firearms currently on hand was far short of what was needed. To fill this need, many muskets converted to percussion in the 1840s-1850s were pressed back into service.
This lovely example however escape conversion during those times, and is offered in the original flintlock configuration. It has the correct Federal EAGLE / U.S. in front of the hammer, and was produced at United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry itself, in what was then part of the state of Virginia. It has the correct marking on the lock plate tail:
The rifle side plate is bulged and not thin, typical of the Model 1835 Musket. Later iterations would move to a side plate without any bulge in the middle. The barrel nocks form unfortunately has been worn down by powder burn and cleaning over the years, which has removed the date and proof marks. This also holds true for the cartouches on the left side of the stock, which are all gone. There are however various single letter inspection marks on many parts of the musket.
The metalwork overall shows a lovely oxidation speckled steel patina, acquired from decades of cleaning and polishing. There is some scattered light pitting on the top of the barrel, as well as on some of the fittings. The barrel nocks form has been cleaned a lot. There also is a bit of oxidation along the wood line, very common as the wood draws moisture to the metal. The lock functions, holding correctly at half cock, and firing at full. The mainspring is quite strong, so it can take a bit of effort to cock the lock. The bore on this musket actually was rifled, as well as being bored out to nearly 0.75" near the muzzle! There also look to be some "steps" in the bore, so it gets narrower towards the breech, but still remains rifled. This is definitely an example with an interesting history!
The stock is in very good service used condition, with a lovely red brown color, showing some staining near the butt plate and other fittings. There is a crack by the rear lock screw that runs back to the wrist, as well as minor cracking around much of the lock plate. We are not able to detect any movement on these cracks, so they are most likely superficial. The upper sling swivel has broken off of the barrel band, while the trigger guard swivel remains. The cleaning rod looks to be a period replacement, somewhat shorter than original. Really a nice well aged stock on this musket, with a lovely patina!
Really a great example of an early U.S. Martial musket, rifled but still in the original flintlock configuration. Ready to display in any U.S. collection!
Year of Manufacture: 1836
Original Caliber: .69"
Cartridge Type: Ball and Powder
Barrel Length: 42 Inches
Overall Length: 57 3/4 Inches
Action type: Side Action Percussion Lock
Feed System: Muzzle Loading
History of the Model 1835 Musket:
The War of 1812 had revealed many weaknesses in American muskets. The Model 1812 Musket was created in an attempt to improve both the design and manufacture of the musket. The Model 1816 made further improvements, and replaced the Model 1812. The Model 1812 had borrowed heavily from the design of the French Charleville model 1777 musket, and this design was retained for the Model 1816. The Model 1816 had a 42 inch long .69 caliber smoothbore barrel, similar to the Model 1812, but had a longer lock plate, a shorter trigger guard, and a longer bayonet than the Model 1812. The Model 1816 also had a more straight lined stock. The overall length of the weapon was 58 inches.
The Model 1816 musket was originally produced at the Harpers Ferry and Springfield Arsenals between 1816 and 1844. Around 675,000 were made, more than any other flintlock in U.S. history.
The Model 1816 was originally produced as a flintlock musket. Like many flintlock muskets, many of these were later converted to percussion cap, as the percussion cap system was much more reliable and weather resistant.
This model of Springfield musket was used by Texans during the Texas Revolution and by the US Army and militia during the Mexican-American War. During this conflict, the flintlock version of the Model 1816 was preferred by U.S. regular forces, due to percussion cap supply concerns.
It was also used during the early years of the American Civil War until around 1862.
Many improvements to the Model 1816 were made, producing the Model 1822, Model 1835, Model 1840, and Model 1842. U.S. Ordnance Department referred to these as different models, but in other U.S. government documents they are referred to as a continuation of the Model 1816. Modern histories are similarly inconsistent in the nomenclature of these weapons.
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